Recycle Broken Pickleballs

What do you do with old, broken pickleballs?

Broken Pickleball

Can I recycle pickleballs?

This is a question that we get asked fairly frequently. Unfortunately, pickleballs themselves cannot be recycled by a recycling center.

In the May 2014 USAPA e-Newsletter, Dennis Dacey, USAPA Rules Chair, states that he believes the answer is “no”:

“For now the simple answer appears to be ‘no,’ a pickleball cannot economically be recycled. I’m no expert, but from what I see, because of the type of material with which it is combined and the fact that there is no recycling symbol, the ball is impractical for recycling.”

That being said, you can always get a little creative with these broken, disformed, out-of-round, or otherwise unusable pickleballs!  Here’s a list of some ideas we gathered from the Internet:

  1. A Hanging Parking Guide via Facebook

A Hanging Parking Guide

2. Googley-Eyed Sunglasses via Facebook

Googley Eye Sunglasses

3. A Hanging Pickleball Mascot via Facebook

A Hanging Pickleball Mascot

4. A Pickleball Christmas Tree via Facebook

A Christmas Tree Made Out of Pickleballs

5. A Tree Decorated with Painted Pickleballs via Facebook

...or a Tree Decorated with Pickleballs!

6. Pickleball Mobiles via Facebook

A Pickleball Mobile

7. Pickleball Friendship Balls via Facebook

Friendship Balls, an idea by Nadine McKay In case you’d like to make some, here’s the supply list: Yarn and darning needle, skein of inexpensive colorful yarn, scissors and broken pickleballs. Each skein will make four to five balls. Wrap the ball about five times to create a form. Use the blanket stitch and fill each section. Or wrap the center of the ball and then do a blanket stitch consistently, each row becoming smaller until the end. Don’t worry if you miss a stitch, this is not rocket science technology!

Friendship Balls, an idea by Nadine McKay
In case you’d like to make some, here’s the supply list: Yarn and darning needle, skein of inexpensive colorful yarn, scissors and broken pickleballs. Each skein will make four to five balls. Wrap the ball about five times to create a form. Use the blanket stitch and fill each section. Or wrap the center of the ball and then do a blanket stitch consistently, each row becoming smaller until the end. Don’t worry if you miss a stitch, this is not rocket science technology!

8. Painted Pickleball Trophies for Tournaments via Jennifer Lucore’s pickleball blog

Trophies for Pickleball Tournaments (Painted Pickleballs)

9. Costumes denoting Pickleball Royalty via Facebook:

pickleball costumes

10. Golf Cart Decor

There are definitely some very creative pickleball recyclers out there! Do you have any clever uses for broken pickleballs? Let us know!

12 thoughts on “Recycle Broken Pickleballs

  1. I create 3 layer serving dishes. I would post a photo but I can’t find how…It can be done as others have posted photos.

  2. I’m contacting Terracycle to see if they can recycle them. They upcycle everything from cigarette butts to gum…so maybe it can be a possibility!

    • Hi Anne, that sounds great! If you hear back from them and happen to remember this post, we’d love to know how it goes.

      • Hi Laura, They said I can contact pickleball companies..but I got too busy. Instead, my husband and I forked over the $200 bucks for a box from terracycle that is 11 x11x 40 inches that they send us and we will cut all the balls so they nestle inside eachother and pack the box with as many balls as we can. Hopefully, people in our club will pitch in a couple dollars to help us defer the cost.

  3. I dont see why a company cant take them back, melt and remold them. We really need to find a legitimate “green ” solution, inorder to bring even more positive attention to this great sport.

  4. Our club repairs them (if they only have a single crack between 2 holes) with a dab or superglue and uses them for beginner training. Yes, they don’t bounce true but the beginners don’t hit true either. Some crafty person has also used them for trophies for informal, intra-xlub tournaments.

  5. yes i make magnets and place on car..have one now still on after several car washes and 5k miles of driving. some use on REFRIG.

  6. i give broken balls to the little league baseball teams for batting practice.. also good to use on batting tee.

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